Eloping in Thailand
In April of 2017, Austin and I headed to Thailand with the plan to get hitched. We had gotten engaged the February prior, our five year anniversary and we were ready to Thai the knot.
People always ask if Austin surprised me with a proposal, the truth is that marriage was always a conversation among us. We knew thats where our relationship was leading but we needed to have our ducks in a row. For one, we wanted to be living together. We also wanted to make sure we were on the same page with how the whole wedding thing would go down. Austin and I are in the wedding industry as cinematographers, so we are very aware of what is involved in traditional American weddings. We love them, we enjoy them so much. But a couple of things made the choice to elope very easy. For starters, the bulk of Austin's family is in London and Peru. In the tri-state area, he only has his parents, brother, cousin, aunt and uncle. That's only six relatives.
All of my family is in New York but I really wanted to do something that aligned with our relationship. Austin and I travel a lot, since you're reading this from our travel website, it seems you've gathered that.
So for us that meant making the day about us. I've always wanted to go to Thailand since I was a young teenager. My very first job was at my friend Melissa's family Thai restaurant. We would look at the photos and dream of being in Thailand, eating the food, sitting on the beaches.
Since Austin and I started dating we've frequented a Thai restaurant in Brooklyn. It's where we would have our date nights, we would have our entire table full of food, not a single empty space. Literally, getting hungry thinking about it.
Austin and I live like there may not be a tomorrow because we really don't know what life holds for us. So when the stars aligned and we found a great price for tickets to Thailand, we just knew this had Austin and Amanda written all over it.
We decided that we were going to make it a fun trip with friends, so we invited our friend who has gone on a ton of trips with us, who knows us best as a couple, Jon Ortiz, to not only accompany us but to officiate our elopment. Next we needed a photographer because of course we wanted to document our day, whatever you do for your wedding it's important not to sacrifice the only thing you have to remember, photo and video.
We invited Efrain Hernandez of Jadore Love to shoot our wedding, not only is he an amazing photographer but also a great friend. We went to Cuba with him the year prior so we knew he was a good travel companion.
They weren't the only people who came, we managed to convince my friend, Melissa who introduced me to the whole Thai culture, to come with her boyfriend and his friend. All three of those people were there the night Austin and I met so it felt like a full circle.
Alright, so getting to Thailand from New York took a full day, 24 hours between transportation to the airport, layovers, flight time and all of that good stuff. I packed a wedding dress, since this was planned (a lot of people think it wasn't) and I wrote my vows on the plane, in tears sitting next to Austin as he slept.
We flew into Bangkok after a layover in Paris and then caught another plane to Phuket. Jon and his friend Elena arrived a few hours before us and Efrain arrived a few hours after us. Before I knew it I was in penthouse sitting next to some Buddha's. The next morning we woke up and had breakfast at our Airbnb.
I don't know why, but we tend to stay at more than one Airbnb / hotel wherever we go. This has made me air on the side of light packing now. And this trip was no exception. We had 3 different rooms in Phuket. We had an Airbnb the first two nights, then we went to a resort for the rest of our time in Phuket, with a standard room which was gorgeous, and a suite the day before we left (regrets) which was so stunning that I wanted to cry.
We decided to have a little photo session the day before we got married which was a really nice ice breaker for the day of photos that we had ahead of ourselves. Austin and I aren't usually on this end of the camera but Efrain made us look like naturals.
Austin and I got married on Monday, April 10th. He spent the morning on a vespa, looking for a place to say our "I do's". I spent the day with Elena, getting pampered and ready to marry my best friend. We decided to have a ceremony just before sunset, right on the rocks of a beach across from our resort. Efrain grabbed photos of both of us getting ready, Austin wrote me a postcard which I did not expect so of course there were tears right before our first look. We had the first look at the resort,this was definitely something we wanted to work into our day so we had more portrait time!
I found a little secluded corner of the resort with a walk way perfect for a first look. And there I met my groom. I can't wait to look back on these photos and say to Austin "look how young we were!" There are so many things that were imperfect about our day, Austin's pants were wrinkled, his razor died mid-shave, I was sun-burned and bobby-pins kept falling out of my hair. But seriously, it was our version of perfect. At the end of the day we married each other and that's really all that we could've asked for. I cried tears and we laughed through it and that's going to be the story of our lives.
After our ceremony we had a delicious Thai meal and rode off into the night. Efrain was fun enough to suspend himself to the back of a tuk tuk to grab photos of us. I think, having had the experience of celebrating our marriage abroad, it set the pace for our life together. So thank you for joining us along this ride.